Vol. VI, No. 2                             February 1989


" a matter so simple, the least part has its significance or it is all meaningless."
                                                     --DArcy McNickle



Modern Language Association      Page 1
Correspondence                              Page 2
People                                              Page 2
Books                                               Page 3
Projects                                            Page 6
Calls                                                 Page 7
Subscription Form            Inside back cover



is published quarterly by the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. Deadlines for submission of material are January 15 for February 1 publication, April 15 for May 1 publication, July 15 for August 1 publication, and October 15 for November 1 publication. All materials should be sent to:

                 John Purdy, Editor
                 ASAIL Notes
                 Central Oregon Community College
                 2600 NW College Way
                 Bend, Oregon 97701


Modern Language Association

The annual association business meeting was well attended this year, and very productive. There were a number of important, pressing issues that needed attention, and they were handled as follows.

As reported in the last issue of "Notes," there is growing concern over the attitudes expressed by some of the council members of the National Endowment of the Humanities at a recent gathering. Their reluctance to fund projects in Native American languages, and their apparent belief that oral literatures are not as worthy of serious scholarly attention (and therefore N.E.H. funds) as written, were both the subject of discussion. It was agreed that an official response is necessary, so Andrew Wiget and Joy Harjo will bring the subject before the Committee on the Literatures and Languages of America. Hopefully, the response will come not only from our association, but perhaps the Modern Language Association as well.

There was also a great deal of discussion over the recent incorporation of the journal Studies in American Indian Literatures into the ethnic studies journal, Dispatch. Although the rationale behind the move was carefully considered, it was unanimously agreed that too much could be lost in such a change, and that S.A.I.L. should find a new home. A host institution has not been found, but Helen Jaskoski has agreed to edit the journal, and Daniel Littlefield and James Parins have graciously agreed to provide the funds to publish it, until a committee has agreed on a permanent location. Options will be explored this year, and a decision made at our next business meeting, so if you have suggestions or would like to aid in any way, please contact Jim Ruppert, Alaska Native Studies, 508 Gruening Building, Fairbanks, AK 99775-0140. And, if you have submissions or business for the journal, contact Helen Jaskoski, Department of English, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634.

Last, but of course not least, we elected a new president: Franchot Ballinger. He may be reached at University of Cincinnati, Mail Location 205, Cincinnati, OH 45221.



The University of South Carolina, Spartanburg is presenting a week-long celebration, February 6-10, 1989. The "USCS Week of American Indian Awareness" will include exhibits, book displays, and a film series that includes Victor Masayesva's Itam Hakim, Hopiit, Harold Littlebird's Songs of My Hunter Heart, and Running on the Edge of the Rainbow. Speakers include Jim Charles of USCS, Gilbert Blue, Chief of the Catawba Nation, and Vine Deloria, Jr., whose presentation--"Beating Around a Bush: Indian Affairs at the Start of a New Administration"--should prove provocative.



The University of California, Santa Cruz's first annual Native American Literature Prize will be awarded to N. Scott Momaday at a special reading on Tuesday, February 14, 1989 in the Concert Hall at the University. In the coming years, the award, the brain child of Gerald Vizenor, promises to provide long awaited and consistently prestigious recognition for Native writers.

William Oandasan has taken a teaching position in the English department at the University of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA 70148). Although he will be busy with his duties, he hopes to return to some writing projects that, unfortunately, he has not had time to work on recently.

I failed to mention in the last issue that James Ruppert has accepted a position at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (508 Gruening Building, Fairbanks, 99775-0140). In these cold, cold days, we wish him warmth.

Carter Revard has accepted a position as visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma for this spring semester.

Andrew Wiget has helped the Zuni receive a $21,600 grant from the National Endowment for {3} the Arts to tape storytelling events at the pueblo this year. The project, initiated by the Zunis, is intended to preserve storytelling in Zuni, but it will also result in ten, half-hour National Public Radio programs, in English translation.

Address notifications are as follows:

Prof. Dr. Helmbrecht Breinig
Institut Für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Universität Erlangen: Nürnberg
Bismarckstr. 1 C
D 8520 Erlangen
West Germany

I have also received a wonderful letter from Professor Yuri Tambovtsev describing his new appointment to the faculty of Lvov Leso-Technical Institute. Lvov sounds like a beautiful city, with a deep and diverse history. His new address is:

290057, U.S.S.R.
Lvov-57, ul. Pushkin, 103
Lvov Leso-Technical Institute
Chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages
Dr. Yuri Tambovtsev
(Phone 39-06-52)



The Modern Language Association is to publish two books by A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff in the near future: American Indian Literatures: An Introduction, Bibliographic Review, and Selected Bibliography, and Redefining American Literary History, which she coedited with Jerry Ward. As with LaVonne's previous works, the new should prove indispensable.

The Modern Language Association has also published Kenneth M. Roemer's (Editor) Approaches to Teaching Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain. This is the first volume in the well-known series to focus on a contemporary author, and the first on a minority (Native American) writer. Given the list of contributors, this promises to be a useful tool.

Andrew Wiget, Editor of the Dictionary of Native American {4} Literature, reports that the project is progressing well, although some articles are overdue. If you have contracted to write one and are having trouble finishing it, you should contact Andy immediately. There are also a few articles looking for authors, so if you are interested, contact Professor Wiget at the Department of English Box 3E, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0005. With luck, the dictionary will be out this year.

Wiget is also involved in a new American Literature project with D.C. Heath. Like several recent anthologies, this, too, will devote space to Native American voices; however, if Professor Wiget's enthusiasm is any indication, this edition will make a stronger contribution than has been achieved to date.

As reported in the "American Native Press Archives" from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the recent months have been a sad time for Native American publishing. Akwesasne Notes has been crippled by a fire that destroyed its offices and some of its inventory. The staff is taking contributions to help them get going again. Send donations to: Akwesasne Notes Recovery Fund, P.O. Box 196, Mohawk Nation, via Rooseveltown, NY 13683-0196. Also, we have lost the Greenfield Review, due to a lack of financial support, and Blue Cloud Quarterly is to be lost this year, after four last issues, so the support for Akwesasne Notes becomes even more crucial.

On a positive note from the "American Native Press Archives": Northeast Indian Quarterly has published a special issue entitled Indian Roots of American Democracy. It derives from a conference held at Cornell in 1987 which focused on evidence that democracy native to this continent provided a model for the Founding Fathers. For a copy ($12), or for information about the journal, write to: Northeast Indian Quarterly, 400 Caldwell Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

And, the annual meeting of the Native American Press Association will be in March in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For information about the association or the meeting, contact: Executive Director Susan Arkeketa, Native American Press Association, Box 1734, Boulder, CO 80306.

There is also a new journal in Canada that seeks submissions on Native cultures, and research pertaining to indigenous studies. Its first issue should be out by {5} now. For more information, contact: Dana F. Lawrence, Journal of Indigenous Studies, Gabriel Dumont Institute, 121 Broadway Avenue East, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Although Jack Marken has retired, he continues to edit the Native American Bibliographic Series. He and his distinguished Advisory Board are also responsible for the Native American Resource Series, published by Scarecrow Press. He notes: "If there are any readers of ["Notes"] who have in hand an unpublished monograph on any facet of American Indian life and who are looking for a publisher, I ask them to write to me about the work." The first in the series was the first volume (of five) of 1. Norman Heard's Handbook of the American Frontier, The Southern Woodlands. Write Jack Marken, 319 20th Ave., Brookings, SD 57006.

Elizabeth Woody's book of poetry, Hand Into Stone, mentioned in the last issue of "Notes," may be ordered from Contact II Publications, Box 451 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004.

And Anna Lee Walters' long awaited novel, Ghost Singer, has been published by Northland Publishing (P.O. Box N, Flagstaff, AZ 86002). If it compares to her short fiction, it is a powerful novel.

In January, Peter Lang Publishing released Lakota Storytelling: Black Elk, Ella Deloria, and Frank Fools Crow, by Julian Rice. The book, "interprets transcriptions and translations of Lakota (Sioux) autobiography, oral narrative, and oratory in the context of published ethnographies and from the perspective of literary criticism."

The Native in Literature: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives has been published by ECW Press (307 Coxwell Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4L 3B5). "Oral traditions, explorers accounts, and natives in white fiction are some of the topics discussed in 12 original essays...."

"Like the storyteller, Nia's words flow at various depths of meaning throughout the book, leaving it to the reader to discern the various shades of meaning and feeling which can be evoked by her work." So says Grace Anna McNeley of Nia Francisco's Blue Horses for Navajo Women, published recently by The Greenfield Review Press (2 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833).

Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children was released this fall. The authors--Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac--are well known for their works with tribal arts, so the book could very well be a useful tool for scholars, teachers and/or parents.

Don Smith has published an article recently on George Copeway: "The Life of George Copeway or Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh (1818-1869)--and a Review of His Writings," Journal of Canadian Studies, 23 (Autumn 1988) 5-38.

David Brumble's new book, American Indian Autobiography, was published last year by the University of California Press.



The American Native Press Archives, directed by Daniel Littlefield, Jr. is a valuable resource for scholars in our field. It serves as an international clearinghouse for information on American Indian and Alaska Native publications; maintains a newspaper and periodical collection of over 30,000 separate items published between 1826 and the present; collects American Indian and Alaska Native imprints; coordinates a major research project in its sixth year (which has produced several works, including A Bibliography of Native American Writers, 1772-1924); and publishes a journal, Native Press Research Journal. It does more, so for information, contact Littlefield at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 502 Stabler Hall, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204.



A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff will offer her third National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar for College Teachers this summer. Entitled "American Indian Literatures: Oral and Written," the seminar will study the structures and cultural contexts of oral literatures, the transition from oral to written literatures, and the influences of oral tradition on twentieth-century fiction by American Indian authors. It will run from 19 June to 11 August at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact:
Professor Ruoff
Department of English
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois 60680

Brian Swann's suggestion for a volume on the problems of translations has been realized. He has approached the University of Nebraska Press, which has expressed a strong interest in such a collection, so Swann makes the following appeal:

I think the time is ripe for an interdisciplinary volume that concentrates on one topic, to my mind the most important: translation, throughout the Americas--North, Central, South. I would like you to send me for consideration an original essay, or essay and translation, on any aspect of the subject that interests you.. . .While the book is not intended primarily for the general reader, I would prefer the essays not to be esoteric and overly specialized. I would be happy if, in addition to scholars in Native American Studies and related fields, college teachers, at an upper undergraduate and graduate level, were able to use the book.... The deadline will be Christmas, 1989. Contributions should be of reasonable length (preferably not over 30 pages), double-spaced, and conform to the MLA Style. After each essay include a Suggested Reading list, or a bibliographical note.

The next MLA convention will be held in Washington, D.C., where A.S.A.I.L. will sponsor a session entitled "Encounters in the Oral Tradition: Native American Stories of Cultural Contact." If you are interested and have a paper you would like to read on the subject, send an abstract by March 15, 1989 to: Franchot Ballinger. University of Cincinnati, Mail Location 205, Cincinnati, OH 45221.

On a similar note, the North Dakota Quarterly is also interested in the forthcoming quincentenary of Columbus arrival "by featuring articles, essays, poems, stories, reviews and visual art that interpret or respond to Columbus voyage from perspectives that are not European but native to the worlds he found." Send queries and contributions to Robert W. Lewis, Editor, North Dakota Quarterly, Box 8237 University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202. If one remembers the special American Indian issue the NDQ put out in 1985, this call could {8} produce some interesting, pointed material.

From Daniel Littlefield, Jr.: "We are now inviting manuscripts for our chap book series. We invite manuscripts from American Indian and Alaska Native writers, both well-established and unestablished. Decisions to publish will be based entirely on quality. Length of manuscripts should be no longer that the equivalent of 48 printed pages." Contact: Daniel Littlefield, Jr. American Native Press Archives Director, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 502 Stabler Hall, Little Rock Arkansas 72204 (501/569-3160).

Calapooya Collage is once again soliciting poetry from Native Americans for its fourteenth annual magazine. Past contributions have come from Harjo, Bruchac, Bush, Niatum, and several other talented poets. Send submissions to me, at the address on the cover.

The University of Southern Maine will hold a national conference on autobiography from Friday, 29 September to Sunday, 1 October. Papers or proposals on any topic concerning autobiography are welcome, including Native American. Send submissions by 1 March 1989 to: Autobiography Conference, Department of English, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine 04103. If you have questions, you may also contact Kathleen Asley at (207) 780-4295.

The Twenty-Third Annual Comparative Literature Symposium, to be held at Texas Tech University (January 25, 26, 27, 1990), will discuss "The Literature of Emigration and Exile." Papers (10 to 15 pages) may address "Internal Emigration of Native Americans," but all papers must be comparative. The completed paper or 3 to 4 page abstract is due by March 31, 1989. Contact Wendell Aycock, Interdepartmental Committee on Comparative Literature, P.O. Box 4530, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-3091.

"The Plains Indian Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center will host the 13th annual Plains Indian Seminar in Cody, Wyoming from September 28-October 1, 1989. The theme of the conference will be "Plains Indian Art: The Southern Plains." The seminar will explore traditional Plains Indian art created by tribes to the south--Cherokee, Pawnee, Osage, Kiowa, Comanche, Southern Arapaho, Pueblo and others . . . Papers will be one-hour presentations augmented by visuals . . . Experts from tribal communities, as well as scholars, hobbyists and other interested people well-versed in the subject are invited to submit a 450-word abstract or complete paper by April 17, 1989. George Horse Capture, Curator, Plains Indian Museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, P.O. Box 1000, Cody, WY 82414."

It seems that the bulk of what appears in "Notes" comes from this country. In future issues, I would like to include news from abroad: research projects, conferences, university courses, etc. So, I call to our colleagues overseas to write and share their work. interests and concerns.

I would like to acknowledge the beneficent support of the administration of Central Oregon Community College, in particular Drs. Fred Boyle and Bart Queary. Without their financial support, the last two issues of this publication would not have been.